Just to make things clear I’ll come right out and say I think that what these people stand for is very, very wrong. That doesn’t mean I think they should be banned. In all the discussion of this party, such as this recent article in the SMH where they list their policies,
The Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity party (PNVD) was launched in May and its campaign for a cut in the age of consent from 16 to 12 and the legalisation of child pornography and sex with animals has provoked widespread outrage in the Netherlands.
the journalists, like outraged bloggers, fail to make any comparison with how these policies actually sit compared with other European countries.
It’s the age of consent policy that is interesting. It seems to escape notice that in other European countries the age of consent is not much higher than what they are aiming for. Many countries have 14, and in Spain the age of consent is 13 raised from 12 in briefly 1995. It seems the fact that a majority of politicians in Spain at some point agreed to these laws doesn’t spark the outrage and demands that they must be silenced that an extreme fringe Dutch group do when they are labelled the “pedophile party”. For reference, I think around 16 is appropriate, whether some children are mature enough earlier is irrelevant compared with protecting the greater number from exploitation by adults.
The other thing I find surprising is that people don’t have confidence to think that their policies are so offensive that virtually everyone else will not vote for them and need to have them banned.
In July, a Dutch court rejected a bid by a children’s rights group to have the party banned, saying it was protected by democratic freedoms and judges could not take lightly a decision to ban a political party.
The Netherlands, which already has liberal policies on soft drugs, prostitution and gay marriage, has been shocked by the new party. An opinion poll showed 82 per cent want the government to do something to stop the party.
Which is a solid 82% who won’t be voting for them, even forgetting the remaining 17.9% of people who also won’t but don’t feel the need for an immediate ban. The media of course love the sideshow and outrage, and so give them airtime they don’t deserve. There is few things as hypocritical as an outrage story about exposing the opinions some fringe group no one would otherwise have heard of.